At Second Harvest Food Bank, we believe that no family should have to decide between putting food on the table and their future in our country. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what will happen if the new rules proposed by the current Administration become law.
This new rule is called public charge, and would punish legal immigrants if they receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by jeopardizing their ability to stay in the United States – even if they are qualified for the SNAP program.
The proposed action will likely increase hunger among immigrant families because receiving food assistance could threaten an individual’s ability to receive lawful permanent residency.
Upon entering the U.S. legally or applying to become a lawful permanent resident, a public charge assessment is made. This means the individual’s level of use of government resources can affect whether or not they are allowed to stay in the U.S. after legally entering or petitioning to become a resident. If they are deemed to use too many government resources, such as housing assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Social Security Income (SSI) and others. It currently does not include SNAP.
As we work on the frontlines to end hunger, we have a responsibility to help any neighbor in need, regardless of race, religion, citizenship, disability, age, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other criteria. Our mission is to end hunger in Central Florida and that includes providing food to any person facing hunger within our service area.
We believe this new rule will create fear and confusion that may dissuade immigrant communities from seeking needed food in the first place. If this new rule is put into place, Second Harvest and other food banks like ours, will see an increase in hunger within the community — we cannot do this alone.
Every person should be afforded the basic dignity of not going to bed hungry at night and that is what Second Harvest strives to do. Our priority has been, and will remain, providing food to all families and individuals in need.
Here’s what you can do to ensure this proposed rule doesn’t pass.
Through our partnership with Feeding America, a nationwide organization of all the food banks throughout the country, we’ve developed a suggested comment for submission to the Administration. These comments are submitted and must be read by the Administration before they’re able to move forward with the new proposed rule. All comments must be submitted by December 10th.
Read more about public charge from the Miami Herald: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article219730825.html